IKEA has just joined the global fight against plastic pollution by committing to phase out single-use plastic products from its stores and restaurants by 2020. The Scandinavian chain decided to go for this anti-plastic move in order to help its customers live more sustainably in response to the growing concern about plastic pollution and its impact on the oceans.
The retailer announced that it will eliminate plastic straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, bin bags, and plastic-coated paper plates and cups, replacing the items with alternatives where possible, the Guardian reports. While all the details of the phase-out are not yet settled, the company is clearly moving forward and finding new solutions.
“We don’t have all the answers yet but we are working together with our suppliers to find solutions that are good for both people and the planet,” said an IKEA spokesperson.
The retailer says it wants to help customers live more sustainably by offering products such as a tap nozzle that could save over 90 percent of water used. The chain will also start offering solar panels in 29 markets by 2025 – up from the five that offer them now. IKEA also plans to introduce more vegetarian and vegan food options into the stores’ cafes.
“Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than 1 billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet,” said Torbjörn Lööf, the Chief Executive of the retailer’s parent Inter IKEA group. “Change will only be possible if we collaborate with others and nurture entrepreneurship. We are committed to taking the lead working together with everyone – from raw material suppliers all the way to our customers and partners.”
IKEA has already pledged to phase out oil-based plastics and is seeking to ensure that all its plastic products are made using recycled materials by August 2020. To make that vision a reality, the company has invested in a plastics recycling plant. It has also invested in wind farms and put solar panels on its stores in order to meet the goal of relying on renewable electricity and heat in its stores by 2020.
Being one of the most popular and recognizable furniture retailers with more than 363 stores worldwide, IKEA has the opportunity to influence the habits and choices of hundreds of millions of its customers, have a serious impact on other retailers and businesses, and significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste it generates – and it is incredible to see the company take that chance!
Each of us can play a small part in making a change and reducing plastic pollution for the benefit of our planet. To find out how you can help by ditching disposable plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Image source: William Murphy/Flickr